Order

I also notice that Pushing Daisies is coming to NZ tv screens.  Watch it.  (but give it a couple of episodes before you judge it)

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On a lighter note

From this…..

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to this:

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I am not the world’s best grafter, but I am quite glad at how this turned out. It is a Gant pullover purchased by my internet salsa friend Lise for her boyfriend, who managed to get another girl’s ring stuck in it the second time he wore it. So Lise thought of me.

What’s the strangest reason you’ve ever had for meeting an internet friend for the first time?

Note: do not attempt at home unless you have tiny crochet hooks, good light and lots of patience (I managed two out of three).

Rest in peace, Hone Tuwhare

Toroa ~ Albatross

Day and night endlessly you have flown effortless of wing
over chest-expanding oceans far from land.
Do you switch on an automatic pilot, close your eyes
in sleep, Toroa?

On your way to your homeground at Otakou Heads
you tried to rest briefly on the Wai-te-mata
but were shot at by ignorant people. Crippled.
You found a resting place at Whanga-nui-a-Tara;
found space at last to recompose yourself.

Now, without skin and flesh to hold you together
the division of your aerodynamic parts lies whitening,
licked clean by sun and air and water. Children will
discover narrow corridors of airiness between,
the suddenness of bulk. Naked, laugh in the gush
and ripple — the play of light on water.

You are not alone, Toroa. A taniwha once tried
to break out of the harbour for the open sea. He failed.
He is lonely. From the top of the mountain nearby he
calls to you: Haeremai, haeremai, welcome home, traveller.

Your head tilts, your eyes open to the world.

 

I will admit I know almost nothing about Hone Tuwhare the man, but his poetry has been hugely influential to me.   I grew up in the 1980s, the time of David Lange, the Oxford Union debate, the Rainbow Warrior, WMDs, ICBMs, MAD, and the end of ANZUS, and I think Tuwhare’s No Ordinary Sun was read by every child.  What an awakening that was!  The teacher gave it to us to read, and then asked us what it meant.  The meaning was obvious to me but where in the poem did it state that it was about nuclear bombs?  That poem probably made me realise the power, the energy, the versatility of words.  I hope his words never die.

Death of a hero

As I write Sir Edmund Hillary is being laid to rest.

He had a long, fulfilling, sometimes incredibly tragic, amazing life. His passing symbolises the end of an era that in truth ended long ago. His legacy seems to already be forgotten among calls for a “Hillary Day” (shame on you Greens, what happened to a public holiday for Matariki? That campaign was gaining popularity but have you abandoned it in favour of capitalising on the death of a legend?) and anger at the lack of any Royal presence at the funeral*, which seems to be largely stirred up by the media.

Even so, it is a telling sign – Hillary and Tensing’s conquest of Everest was announced on the morning of the Queen’s coronation, and was hailed as much a victory for the Empire as for New Zealand. It was after all an English-led expedition.

Nevertheless the ascent of Everest stirred a national pride in New Zealand as distinct from the Empire, as New Zealand as a state entered its teenage years. Now one wonders whether a new era of national sentiment is dawning. Hillary’s life left so many legacies, and I predict his death will leave one more. Prince Charles, I think, will never be King of New Zealand.**

RIP, Sir Ed. Let’s hope we have only temporarily forgotten what you truly stood for.

* Who would they send? Charlie? Can you imagine the carbon brigade on that one? William? His first solo flight has made for more headlines than Hillary did, and some good PR to boot. My personal pick would be Zara, but it’s an Olympic year.

** Bang goes my invitation to the Garden Party.

Photo catch-up

You can’t really see very well in the previous post, but the photos were taken by the Holy Cross Church next to my building. The church is pure London – covered in soot and incredibly spooky. I must take some photos soon – if the moon was still out I would do so now, but it’s clouded over.

It’s time to play catch-up with some pictures from my trip. The first two need no explanation:

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And this is me and my brother at a New Year’s Eve party:

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We went to a party at the British Consulate Residence over on the East Side in a building with FIVE doormen and a great view of the river. The party itself was strange – absolutely packed with people, it resembled the party scene from Breakfast at Tiffany’s except a lot less wild, at least until the guests had had enough alcohol to loosen up a bit. The apartment was huge and beautiful and full of the sort of African masks and whatnot that diplomats’ houses seem to be littered with, and I was very glad I did not have to be there for the morning clean-up job.

Blue Monday

Apparently the media Powers That Be have declared today to be the most depressing day of the year – the day when weather, post-Christmas debt, and failed New Year’s Resolutions combine and we may as well not even get out of bed.

Bad weather? Check. It’s been dark today. In fact the brightest point came around 4pm when the full moon rose.

Post-Christmas debt? Not so much – I was very careful with my money over Christmas, and since then I think I’ve earned enough to pay off a decent chunk of debt.

Failed New Year’s Resolutions? Writing my blog instead of going to dance class – check.

But how much does all that actually matter? I have been at a bit of a low ebb since I came back, struggling to keep my head above water. But slowly I have managed to make time to eat properly, see friends, go to four dance classes, and get a massage, haircut, and eyebrow shape. There are things I haven’t done too but I’m not going to beat myself up about it. My energy levels are high so who knows what I may achieve in the next few weeks?

In the meantime I leave you with my last FO of 2007: Lush and Lacy from Sweaterbabe.com

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The stats:

Pattern: Lush and Lacy from Sweaterbabe.com (links to Ravelry)

Yarn:  Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk Aran (from last summer’s John Lewis sale) – five balls.  I originally bought this to make Annie Modesitt’s Pinup Queen from SnB, but I realised that the yarn was completely wrong for that pattern – alpaca works much better in lace than ribbing!  Then I thought it was going to be the Waist Cincher Top from Knitting Lingerie Style, until I happened upon this pattern and bought it on a whim.

Mods: The back gathers weren’t written completely symmetrically – I changed my decreases so that they ended up symmetrical.  I made the sleeves a little longer so they hit just below the elbow.  I also wrote myself a lace chart to save my sanity – there is no chart in the pattern and although it’s easy lace my brain was just not functioning with the written instructions.  I made the toggle ties using a knotted, friendship bracelet-style cord.

Verdict:  I’m happy with this, although I haven’t figured out what to wear it with yet!  Love the alpaca silk, two of my favourite fibres in one yarn!

Backlog

Flickr now seems to be working. I have some photos on my camera to share when I get around to it but here’s a couple of photos I took almost a couple of weeks ago now.

First, I seem to be collecting free hugs around the world:

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This was at the Union Square Christmas Market. I love that market.

And here’s the one I took for Sarah:

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Although I’ve been incommunicado and on holiday in another country there’s not much to tell, I’ve mostly been hanging out with my family. I did spend one night in Washington DC this week which was great, although it was extremely cold and Washington is not a good place to be when it’s cold – although all of the sights are relatively close together they are on a very grand scale and so the distances involved are actually greater than they seem. There are a lot of wide open spaces in Washington, especially compared with New York! It was hard to find anywhere to take shelter when it got really cold. Ouch – I just looked up the stats and it got to a maximum of 1 degree C but hovered around an average of -2.

Anyway, I’ll save the rest of the blogging until I have pictures to go with it. Have a nice weekend folks!